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COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT 



Bishop Francis Asbury. 



tc Many of our worn-out preachers have been brought into deep distress ; and the widows 
and orphans of our preachers have been sometimes reduced to extreme necessity who 
might have lived in comfort, if not in affluence, if the husbands and fathers had not loved 
the Redeemer better than wife or children, or life itself. It is to be lamented, if possible 
with tears of blood, that we have lost scores of our most able married ministers who were 
obliged toretire from the general work because they sawnothing before them for their wives 
and children, if they continued itinerants, but misery and ruin.— Bishop Asbury in ijqb. 



THE 



Birth of Methodism 

IN 

AMERICA 



WITH 

PHOTOQRAPHS 



COMPILED AND PUBLISHED 

— BY — 

J. S. REYNOLDS 

NEW YORK CITY 



LIBRARY of CONGRESS 
Two Copies Received 

DEC 21 1905 

Copyright Entry 
CLASS CK. XXc. No, 

1 3 coW<> 



COPYRIGHT, I905, BY J. S. REYNOLDS. 



— TO THE — 

National Local Preachers' Association 
of THE 

Methodist Episcopal Church 
this work is Respectfully Dedicated. 



The following is the inscription on the slab over the original grave of 
Embury in Ashgrove : 

PHILIP EMBURY, 
The Earliest American Minister 
of THE 

Methodist Episcopal Church, 
Here found his last earthly resting place 

" Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the Saints. " 

Born in Ireland, an emigrant to New York, Embury was the first to gather 
a little class in that city, and to set in motion a train of measures 
which resulted in the founding of the John Street church, 
the cradle of American Methodism, and the in- 
troduction of a system which has beau- 
tified the earth with salvation 
and increased the joys 
of Heaven. 



PREFACE. 



IT is- nearly a century and a half since the birth of Methodism in 
America. From that angel-guarded cradle has grown a family 
numbering about one fifth of the population of the United States. 

This wonderful growth from so humble a birth has attracted 
the attention of the world. It has wielded a tremendous power in 
spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the land which 
has had so much to do in shaping our present civilization. 

The purpose of this little volume is not to give the history of 
Methodism in the United States, but to give all the history that is 
obtainable of the Father of Methodism in America. This is best 
accomplished by publishing the oration and addresses of the emi- 
nent Methodists who participated in the ceremonies on the occa- 
sion of the removal of the remains of the Father of Methodism in 
America, and at the unveiling of the beautiful monument at Cam- 
bridge, New York, erected by the National Local Preachers' Asso- 
ciation of the Methodist Episcopal Church to his memory. The 
aim of the publisher is to perpetuate the name of the Father of 
Methodism in America, and his contemporaries — names quite 
unknown, perhaps, to many of the present generation, but names 
honored and revered by all Methodists familiar with the early 
history of the Methodist Church in America. 

The beautiful half-tone photographs in this little volume are 
priceless. The plates from which they are taken are the only ones 
in existence and cannot be duplicated, thus making this little book 
a historical souvenir of great value. 

It is entitled to and should find a p*ace in every Methodist 
home. 



ADDRESS OF THE REV. JOHN NEWAL MAFFIT, 
Delivered in the John Street M. E. Church, New York City, 
October 23, 1830. 

Education has brought far-distant and mountain-separated 
provinces into fraternal neighborhoods; it has made the blast of 
the steam-lions roar louder than the mountain wind on all our 
majestic rivers and heaven-reflecting lakes; it has borne its echoes 
from the beautiful Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the rocky 
hills of the far-woundering Missouri to the distant Canades. 

Education has brought Europe within a few weeks' distance 
of young America; it has chained the Alleghanies to the white 
hills of New Hampshire; it has bound the Mississippi with a silver 
thread to the Hudson, lashed the St. Lawrence to the hoary mane 
of the Atlantic, and made Lake Superior the transcendent Adriatic 
of the New World. 

Education is as truly the soul of Genius as the power of crea- 
tion is its body; or, rather, the sensible token which education 
gives of its presence — the one is the lighted lamp which illuminates 
the cavern where Genius delves in the mind of intellectual wealth, 
while Genius is but the laborer, who, were it not for this spirit 
lamp, would grope in the darkness without end or aim. 

Education is the wind which stirs the fathomless ocean of 
thought; it is the principle that ignites the volcanic matter, which, 
dull and bituminous and inert before, is now to mount through 
the riven bowels of the mountains in strangely terrific yet beautiful 
jets of fire, over which is thrown the mantle of a pillar of thick 
cloud. 

What Deity gave such a sceptre to man as he went weeping 
through the angel-guarded gates of Eden into a world of tears and 
death ? To this question the Delphic oracle is dumb, and mythology 
has no answer; but the great age of improvement speaks from the 
observatory of mind and answers me. Education is both moral 
and physical power. Intellect is an enchanter. Long years after 



Viii ADDRESS OF THE REV. JOHN NEWAL MAFFIT. 



loved friends are entombed the wand of memory waves over the 
chill vaults of the sepulchre, and the dead start into life, pale, 
passionless as the seraph, their sweet faces beam again upon us, 
the fragrance of their spirit breath stirs in our time-bleached locks, 
their thrilling kisses are again on our lips; with their spirits our 
spirits again mingle in a better fraternity of feeling than ever 
before. We invest them with transcendent beauty, they are more 
lovely than the beings of this world; their bosoms throb upon 
ours with better sympathy, their eyes look deep into ours with 
exceeding love. Strange intellectual power! Well may the 
teacher of mind regard his vocation with awe, and say of himself, 
as Young said of his species: "Man is the maker of immortal 
fates." 

On this ground the educationist wields the power of Deity, a 
creator of immaterial excellence, and a happiness as limitless as 
the years of God. The first dawnings of the morning of education 
should be moral suasion, and it should never be remitted. It 
should be a gentle traction of the better feeling of the infant 
heart into such courses as will infuse a blessedness through its 
moral sensibilities. Teach the smallest child to be kind to another, 
and give of his choicest toys to increase the pleasure of another 
child, and he will feel a glow in his bosom richer than all the joys 
of a narrow selfishness; teach that child to forgive an injury, and 
while he puts his little arms around the offender's neck to kiss 
away his wrong, he feels godlike. Teach him the claims of duty 
— how every selfish feeling should give way to the requisitions of 
duty, how rest and ease and play and pleasure should intermit, 
until his little heart could feel the better pleasure of his duty done — 
and he has learned the great secret of being happy through all 
time. Teach him preciousness of words of truth, and he will ever 
of choice speak these words. Teach him gently, by every winning 
example, as well as the honied precepts of affection, of his duty to 
God, and his native reverence will spontaneously mount upward; 
you place a sheet-anchor in his soul, through the power of which 



Philip 



ADDRESS OF THE REV. JOHN NEWAL MAPFIT. 



ix 



he shall be able, with the blessing of God, to ride out the future 
storms of passion, and achieve the final moral conquest over the 
original obliquity of his nature. 

Connected both with time and eternity, Religion throws her 
radiance over two worlds. Alas, alas! there is one world where 
she never comes — there is one world unvisited by hope's bright 
star. Religion stands on the banks of the swift-rolling river which 
sweeps empires and thrones and cities and men to their final, 
changeless destinations. The light of heaven shines full on her 
luminous forehead; she is the representative of a blessed empire, 
come to lift up the light of hope's bright star, where else all would 
be change and doubt, and terror and despair. Lay hold of her 
pure flowing drapery, catch the inspiration of her eloquent voice, 
fly to her strong sanctuary and be safe. 



REV. JOHN N. MAFFIT, 



Born in Dublin, Ireland, December 28, 1794; 
Died in Mobile, Alabama, May 28, 1850. 



Maffit was said to be instrumental in the conversion of more than 20,000 souls; 
and was one of the greatest pulpit orators that ever preached 
Jesus on our American shores. 



ORATION DELIVERED BY REV. JOHN NEWLAND MAFFIT 
ON THE OCCASION OF THE REMOVAL OF THE RE- 
MAINS OF PHILIP EMBURY FROM CAMDEN VALLEY 
TO ASHGrROVE. 

The Genius of History stands over the broken 
ruins of Time and restores the faded images of the 
past as a painter would retouch the work of some an- 
cient master. Time hath a hasty step, and leaves his 
deepest track in the place of Graves. Where the turf 
is thrown open — where the pit yawns deep and nar- 
row — where the coffin lowers down — where the return- 
ing clod throws back the dreariest sound that ever 
visits human ears — there — there, O Grave, is thy vic- 
tory — and there, O Time, thy short vision having ended, 
thou settest up a frail landmark to tell how far went 



2 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



thy path, and to tell where Eternity commenced ! The 
rolling sea that bathes earth's continents in its pearly 
waters bearing no trace of ruin — no indentations for 
graves — on its glassy surface, is yet a wide, hungry 
tomb, where unnumbered sons and daughters of Adam 
lie in their last dreamless slumber. Down, down in 
mortal agony they sink in the green depths of the 
ocean caves, and the gray-eyed monsters of the un- 
fathomed abyss stare in their sunless medium, to see 
the fresh cargoes of mortality arriving at their last des- 
tinations. The plains and mountains and vales and 
deserts are become wild and well filled places of graves. 
Where is the spot where man hath not bowed down 
under his last strong agony? Where is the dust that 
has not humanity incorporated with it? Where is the 
willow or elm that does not wave over and cast their 
heavy shadows upon the wasting — yea, the wasted re- 
mains of one who lived and moved and thought and 
acted amongst us — one who was as dear to the heart 
of friendship as any one of us now is or can be? 

Yes, my dear beloved hearers, even here, in this 
sequestered spot, where the quiet herds have grazed in 
peace — where the robin has sung his early song and 
the snow-bird played with the descending flakes of 
winter, even here moulders the frame of a man. Bone 
after bone hath here returned to the dust from whence 
man was originally taken. Dig down now, after this 
lapse of years — dig down and see if here we can find 
Embury. Here the gray-headed men of other days 
laid him — the cold remains of a minister of Jesus when 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



3 



his day of labor was over. Here, one day, when the 
hearse slowly wound along this path, they gathered, 
not to see a man of God in his mightiest strength, when 
the oil of eloquence is on his lips and the anointing of 
the Most High shines upon his face — but to see a min- 
ister of the isew Testament, cold and lifeless as was 
his Saviour when taken down from the bloody cross on 
Calvary. Cold — cold in death was the pious, warm 
hearted Embury when they laid him here. 

Summer and winter came and went again. The 
grass grew tall and rank over this mound. It became 
level with the surrounding earth. The place was fad- 
ing from the memory of man — for lo, many who dug 
and covered this grave, went themselves to their last 
resting place and laid their time-wearied heads on the 
coarse pillow of gravel. 

But, my Christian friends, amidst all earth's and 
ocean's graves, some are singled out by the eye of 
Almighty Love, and sacred watch is kept over them. 
The sweet stars watch them at night, and the moon- 
beams fall on them like quivering floods of silver. The 
sun pours his flame around them by day, and there is 
no terror in them at all. For there the dead of Christ 
sleep sweetly and soundly, and the eyes of all heaven 
are intent to watch over their sacred dust. Precious 
in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints. 
Goodness and mercy follow them all the days of their 
life, and then they go to the dead to rest until the 
morning of their resurrection glory. Then, not one 
particle of their precious forms shall be wanting — all 



i 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



shall be at hand although shooting in a thousand 
blades of grass, or curling in vapors on the ocean's 
bosom ; all shall come forth, beautiful and fresh, like a 
new rose plucked from Sharon. It is well to have the 
Watcher of Israel to guard our sleeping remains, that 
our frail dust may be found in the resurrection com- 
pletely disenthralled from the palsy of death and 
clothed upon with immortality. 

The relics of illustrious men are subjects of inter- 
est to all. It was but lately that England ransacked 
an ancient cemetery to find the remains of one of her 
beheaded sovereigns. The historians of Charles the 
First disagree respecting the place of his interment. 
The sharp axe of Cromwell's usurpation had made him 
a head shorter, and he was suddenly hurried away to 
an obscure grave. Guided by a historical authority 
not heretofore considered of the best credit, the resur- 
rectionists dug through an old wall of a tomb and 
found a leaden coffin, within which was an embalmed 
body. Carefully was the covering, fold after fold, re- 
moved, and lo ! a king was within. His features still 
preserved their likeness to his statues and busts and 
medals — his head still rested in its blood upon the 
socket of the shoulders — still was the trace of the axe 
through the broad white tendons of the neck dis- 
covered. Still it was but dust, and near by was lying 
the dust of Jane Seymour. 

Say what we may of earthly nobility while life 
throws its delusive shadows around us; in the grave 
there is a strange appearance of equality, while in 



AMERICAN METHODISM, 



5 



reality there is but one strong line of distinction run- 
ning through all the pale realms of death. It is this — 
a part of the mouldering remains of mortality are 
watched over for the resurrection of honor and im- 
mortality, and a part of the resurrection of shame and 
everlasting contempt. A part sleep on the pillowed 
arm of Jehovah reconciled ; a part slumber frightfully 
over the grumbling volcanoes of perdition ; a part sleep 
to wake in loud songs and transport ; a part sleep to 
open their eyes to scalding tears and the hot glare of 
the undying flames. 

I have made these preliminary remarks, suggested 
as they have been by the strange circumstances which 
have called us together. Not to bury the dead ; not 
to disinter his mouldering remains, have we come to- 
gether ; not to shed a tear over Embury dead ! But 
to thank God that so good a man ever lived, and to 
rear a frail stone over his dust, which may tell his 
name and our reverence for his virtues for four or five 
generations yet to come. Then this very marble which 
we rear to-day, shall gather the rust of years — the 
gnawing tooth of time shall eat away our inscription, 
and the men shall wonder at the ragged fragment of a 
monument that shall cumber this ground, and guess 
by what wild chance it strayed away from its native 
quarry. We come here to-day, after a lapse of years, 
to rear a monument over one of the nursing fathers of 
Methodism in America. Here let me not be misunder- 
stood. I do not mean to exalt Methodism over Chris- 
tianity, as though it was not one and the same thing. 



6 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



I would only say that the modification or form of Chris- 
tianity called Methodism has blessed, and is now blessing 
the world with spiritual glory. Form and ceremonial, 
with but little of the living spirit of the sanctuary 
had encircled the church of England and the state 
religions of the world. Wesley led the van of dis- 
senters, disclaiming state or governmental patronage, 
and seeking only the glory of God in the salvation of 
immortal souls. By his great example he declared, let 
bishops and bishoprics go to those who seek them, but 
let me and mine be found faithful unto death, striving 
to get the mastery over sin, and to wage an effectual 
battle against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
Led on by the directing hand of Providence, Wesley 
set his foot in this western world, and grasped, like 
Columbus, more than the elder continents for his em- 
pire. The voice with which he wooed sinners to 
Christ could not be constantly heard, and it was to be 
feared that when he was absent the influences of his 
labors would die away and lose their force. The labors 
of Wesley and Whitefield were of the most powerful 
stamp as far as they reached. Whitefield' s great 
work died with him ; but Wesley prepared his to live 
through all time, and expected to reap rich harvests of 
glory, long, long after his body should be returned to 
the earth. The classification and organization of his 
ministry and membership, regarded merely as human 
policy, were proofs of consummated skill and forecast. 
The wisdom of the Most High truly shone forth illus- 
triously in endowing Wesley for his great work of re- 



Nancy Hock 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



7 



formation, sanctifying his agency to the introduction 
of a new era of holiness throughout the world. Far- 
seeing and prudent, this holy man was not willing to 
leave the territories he had wrested from the Prince of 
Darkness to revert again to error. His bands of holy 
watchfulness and his widening circuits of ministerial 
labor, beating back the clouds of heathenism, and the 
dark shadows of mental thraldom, from their very con- 
stitution have the power of self-preservation and per- 
petuation, under the promised blessing of the Holy 
Spirit. Yes — yes, until the entire earth shall be the 
Lord's the classes of Wesley, like circles on a pool, 
shall widen and widen to the last verges of civilization. 
The very heart of the matter was in Britain, but let me 
now ask in the light of the year 1832, where is the con- 
tinent, where the island, where the shore washed by 
the sounding seas, that have not heard the name of 
Jesus from the lips of Wesleyans? Oh, you will find 
the bones of these brave soldiers of the cross, where 
they fell in the hottest of the battle against sin on 
whatever land you may tread. Even here you may see 
evidence of what I say. ~No common dust moulders 
beneath our feet. Here fell a harnessed warrior of the 
cross. Satan, that roaring lion, stood afar from his 
dying hour, and came not nigh when he rendered up 
his soul to his Redeemer. If you ask how we know 
all this, we answer that scattered along in fragments, 
broken indeed and disjointed, we find the rich evi- 
dences of a Christian life. None who act and feel and 
live like Christians are left to die the hopeless death of 



i 



8 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



infidels. The promise that *'I will be with thee al- 
ways," concentrates with peculiar beauty over the last 
struggle which the Christian is called to endure in 
these low vales of time. Like u hope upon a death 
bed," the banner of the Lord of Hosts waves its pro- 
tection in the atmosphere of the grave. 

How grand and sublime does human nature ap- 
pear in the light of heavenly regard and protection! 
Did Christ die for nothing? Was there not an immor- 
tal worth in the gem which attracted the eyes of Im- 
mortal Love, as it lay in the mire of its own pollution? 
Was there not beauty concealed beneath the rubbish 
of sin — beauty enough to warrant every heavenly 
movement of compassion towards the forfeited, the 
rejected glory of humanity? 

But we digress. As we said before, Wesley and 
Whitefield, like the stars on the American horizon, had 
made their frequent transits, yellowing all the clouds 
of our heavens with the reflected radiance of their 
pious virtues and the deep confiscations of their flam- 
ing eloquence. But as they were not immortal, 
neither could the great spirit of Wesley be omnipres- 
ent, there were needed other means, other labors, 
other agencies, to perpetuate through the lapse of the 
coming generations, the scheme which divine teaching 
had imparted to the founder of Methodism. And Em- 
bury was this instrument in the city of New York. We 
know not his path in another land beyond the blue 
waste of Atlantic waves. He was my countryman — 
but whether his path was one of light or darkness, of 



The Grave of Philip Embury, Ashgrove, N. Y 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



9 



gloom or glory, in his native isle I know not, But this 
I know and record to his eternal honor, that he svas 
deemed worthy by the Holy Spirit, to institute the 
classes of Wesleyanism in the city of New York. 
Nearly thirty years after Wesley had founded a society 
in the city of Savannah in Georgia, and long after every 
vestige of that society had wasted away, the tide of 
emigration, setting towards the western shores, broughl 
some of Wesley's original society from England and 
Ireland to New York. But alas! here they were as 
sheep without a shepherd, wandering in the devious 
paths of sin. 

One evening a pious female from Ireland called at 
the house of some whom she knew to have belonged to 
her society in their native land, and found them en- 
gaged in playing cards. She reproached them, threw 
the cards indignantly away, and hastened to the house 
of her countryman, Philip Embury, in Augusta (then 
Barrack) street, and portrayed to him the fallen condi- 
tion of her friends. His noble heart was aroused to 
holy purposes. Through scorn, contumely, reproach 
and violence, he took his course in favor of God's 
cause, and appointed a meeting at his house. At the 
first meeting six only attended. They sang and prayed, 
and Mr. Embury instructed them in the doctrine- of 
salvation. After a class had been formed, and a more 
commodious room obtained, the little band Mere one 
evening surprised by the appearance of a noble look- 
ing man, in the full uniform of an English captain. 
They soon recognized under the disguise of war n 



10 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



brother in Christ ; it was Captain Webb of the British 
army, who was proud to become an assistant preacher 
with Embury; and a preacher arrayed in scarlet was 
an attractive sight in the humble Methodist pulpit. 
These movements resulted in the erection of that 
" cradle of American Methodism," John street church, 
then called Golden Hill, and quite to the upper limit 
of the city. On the 30th day of October, 1768, Mr. 
Embury delivered a discourse from the pulpit which 
he had himself constructed, declaring that the best 
dedication a minister could make of a church was to 
preach a faithful sermon in it. One of the historians 
of Methodism says : u In the preaching of Mr. Embury 
there was something truly affecting. He generally 
shed tears in the midst of his subject, and on all occa- 
sions showed himself a perfectly sincere Christian. 
His occupation was that of a house carpenter ; but no 
business could distract his thoughts from heavenly 
things; and he was often heard singing hymns with 
earnest devotion, and at the same time plying the im- 
plements of his trade." 

It was through such instrumentality that a Society 
of three hundred members was gathered, and the great 
Wesley sent over ministers to take charge of them 
from England. 

Will it surprise you, my hearers, that this is nearly 
or quite all the record that the annals of our church 
can show for one who was regarded in those early 
times as the father of American Methodism? But so 
it was. We now stand over the ashes of one who was 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 11 



a glorious star, sliming in the early dawn, before the 
bine heavens, far and wide, were red with the full glo- 
ries of the morning. We stand over sacred dust. He 
fell on what was then the outskirts of Methodism — 
perhaps bravely fighting the battles of his Redeemer, 
under the shadow of the great trees that long since 
have disappeared. Perhaps in the agony of prayer he 
hovered like an angel of heaven over lands that he saw 
by the eye of faith, would one day belong to his 
crowned Saviour in heaven. Perhaps on a journey, 
with his petition put up in the chancery of the courts 
of God — 4 c Thy will be done ' ' — and the will of the Sov- 
ereign Arbiter of human fates was to call him home, 
and plant his precious dust with scarce a friend to wit- 
ness, beneath this tree, to give occasion for this 
moment — this moment, when a stranger from Embury's 
own sunny isle of the Atlantic, shall stand on the soil 
consecrated by holy dust, and call other times to re- 
membrance ; not with the wizard wing of fancy, sailing 
over the delicious meads of improbability, and culling 
flowers that never bloomed in these lower realms ; but 
here I stand — myself a fellow countryman with Philip 
Embury, an expectant of the same glorious immor- 
tality, if I do not fill the same unknown and lowly 
grave ; here I stand to speak after the chilling lapse of 
more than half a century, the same words of sacred 
import that Embury would have then spoken, or would 
now speak, could the stiff tongue of death be loosened 
from its long silence. There was but one theme for 
him — there is but one theme for me. Jesus — Jesus, 



12 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



the friend of the sin-burdened soul, was all he could 
say ; it is all that an angel could say. It is the burden 
of heaven and earth — it is the sound of the seraphim 
as they call to each other from the heavenly moun- 
tains — it is this which cheers the dying Christian on 
his lowly bed of dissolution — it is the song of those 
hundreds of thousands who now follow the steps of 
"Wesley and Embury in this goodly land. Christ is my 
all in all. I bind his banner to my heart. I trust his 
grace for all future time. 

Here let me beg the indulgence of my audience 
while I take a farewell of the relics of the dead which 
are so near me. He had, perhaps, no sympathizing 
friend to say farewell — and God he with thee! in the 
last hour. The one who echoes his adieu over his 
grave was not then born — he had not breathed the 
breath of life which was then departing from Embury. 
But now, departed shade, I come on my pilgrimage to 
speak my farewell and raise a stone above thy ashes. 
Farewell, my brother ! more than brother, father in 
God ! Farewell ! until the red morning of the resur- 
rection sparkles over yonder hills, and the tremendous 
voice of the trumpet shall bid thee come forth, radiant 
in more beauty than earth ever beheld. Farewell, un- 
til I, too, shall pass to where thou art in thy resting 
place of peace. Farewell, until shadows stretch over 
time with a gloomy magnificence, and the night that 
knows no waking sets in upon me. Farewell, my coun- 
tryman! more than mine — the countryman of Jesus, a 
chosen vessel of his love, an instrument in his mighty 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 13 



hand of planting the precious seeds of the eternal 
kingdom on these western shores in the trying early 
times. Often on the journey of life shall my memory 
revert to this scene. Often shall I remember the onee 
unknown and undistinguished grave. Often shall I 
gather, departed shade, from these memorials a pre- 
cious lesson of the eternal care of the Saviour over the 
wasting dust of his chosen. Here shall I learn how 
worthless is time — how precious is eternity! Travel- 
ing back from future times, my memory will often re- 
pose on the spot where thou, my father, resteth in the 
full glory of recompense. And now- — till we meet — 
farewell ! 

But I have not yet done. I raise my eyes from 
the mound of the grave and see the heaving forms of 
life and strength and loveliness around me. I have a 
word for the living. 

Years ago the thick wilderness covered these fields. 
The habitations of man were scattered sparsely here 
and there, but the fresh untouched woods covered the 
greater portion of hill and valley. The night-bird 
trilled his evening song to the echoes of the primeval 
forests, dim with religious awe, like some cathedral of 
olden time, through whose embrasures the wandering 
light of day streams in measured rays. Far seen on 
some eminence a traveler appears weak and faint and 
weary. He toils up the hill and treads with tottering 
knees the deepening valley. The hand of sickness is 
upon him. He heaves his breath with the scorching 
fever-blast upon his lungs. He reaches a dwelling. 



14 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



humble indeed in appearance, but rich in the virtues 
of charity and kindness within. He lavs his aching 
head upon a pillow, from which it shall not be lifted 
again until all its aching and throbbing are forever over. 
Who is he? His eyes are calm, even when delirium 
would drive his maddening impulses through his brain, 
and strive with unreal horrors to terrify him for whom 
the three worlds of human existence had no dread. 
Through the storm and agony of his last struggle, like 
the alternate rain and sunshine of a driving day, the 
fires of his soul would ever and anon kindle up at the 
great shrine of redemption, and the language of Canaan 
was ever upon his tongue. Who is he? Xo common lus- 
tre beams in that departing farewell look. Xo common 
eloquence lingers on his tongue, even when wild ejacula- 
tions find the words of this lower world in their diffi- 
cult and forced utterance. Who is he that dies on that 
bed, throwing his spirit with a seraphic bound upward, 
where he said his friends, all his treasure and his 
Saviour were? Who was he? I do not say that his 
name was Embury — for, alas ! I cannot rend the dark- 
ness that hides the past- — nor can I make the cold and 
wasted dust reveal the secret of its latter woes. 

If you think that the picture I have just shown you 
may not be true in every shade, I will show you an- 
other, on which I will stake my hopes of salvation for 
its truth. Every shadow shall be borrowed from an 
unfailing, unquestionable source, and oh ! could I tell 
it — could I but paint it on these clouds above your 
heads with nature's own pencil, a horror would thrill 




Last Resting Place of Philip Embury, Cambridge, N. Y. 



AMERICAN METRO >ISM. 15 



through the hearts of all unrepenting sinners in this 
audience — and the Saints who have long expected its 
coming, would begin to raise their shouts of final 
deliverance. But I will begin my tale : 

Summer and winter shall come and pass away — 
thunder and calm shall convulse and smile upon the 
heavens — the spread of man and human knowledge 
shall be wide ; and the name of the Lord shall have 
traveled into all lands. Wickedness shall have suc- 
ceeded — a season of great wickedness — and old insti- 
tutions shall have changed and passed away. But the 
great features of nature shall not have changed. The 
clear lakes of the north shall yet roll their pellucid 
bright waves to the tune of the piping winds, and the 
beautiful river that bears your traffic to the sea, shall 
yet sweep along beneath the shade of the sublime high- 
lands. These hills around us, and these vales shall 
have kept their swellings and their indentations unim- 
paired ; but not so the works of man. Immense cities 
may indeed burden the lands, and these realms may 
tremble under the tread of millions upon millions, 
whose towers of strength and piles of architectural 
grandeur may eclipse all that Greece or Rome ever 
saw — and over all the summer sun will go down a flood 
of inimitable glory. The thousands and millions of 
the beautiful stars shall break out like eyes in heaven, 
gushing with love for the sweet earth they are smiling 
upon. The harp and the viol shall sound. The bride 
and the bridegroom shall rejoice. The chandeliers of 
the theaters shall shine like terrestrial sans. The halls 



16 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



of riot shall be bright. The hells where souls are 
staked on the cast of the dice, or the throw of the card, 
shall twinkle up with baleful dubious light, to delude 
the unwary, and the retreats of pollution shall be del- 
uged with the population whose steps take hold on 
hell, and -lead to the chambers of death. The bells of 
cathedrals, towers and minarets and bastions, shall 
chime the midnight peal — when, suddenly, a louder 
sound shall split the sapphire vault above creation, and 
a thousand thunders shall roll trumping down the 
eternal avenue which has now opened to the upper 
world. Too late now for repentance — too late now for 
wailing or tears, for the crazy earth hath broken her 
heart strings, and spins upon her maniac axle, like a gid- 
dy thing which the uncontrollable blast of furious winds 
is driving along. A moment, and the grandest scene 
opens in mid-heaven that ever eye hath seen. It is the 
Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power 
and great glory. Oh, what will you do, my friends! 
for ah, you will be cold and defenceless in the graves, 
strewed here and there like leaves scattered in a storm, 
you will all lie under the grassy turf — but you will all 
hear his voice and come forth. Oh, how wretched you 
will be if you come forth to the judgment of condem- 
nation. But see — a heavenly form breaks from the 
dust beneath our feet, scattering the soil of centuries 
from his radiant brow, and fresh in the glow of young 
immortality. Embury rises to the resurrection of the 
just. This is the day he long looked for and thought 
of. and warned sinners of, when he was in life. It has 



AMERR AN METHODISM. 17 



come. He no longer needs a frail slab of marble to 
mark the spot of his grave — for now he is known, as 
far as immortal souls can glance their untiring eyes — 
as far as the accents of Jesus* voice can echo his wel- 
come. Xo more he fills the strangers 5 grave. No 
more he needs the eulogy of a man lie never saw. No 
more he labors at his trade, for he has. through the 
strength of the Lord Jesus, wrought out a crown of 
eternal life, and he now takes it from the hands of the 
celestial ones, who kiss his death cold brow into the 
warmth of a beautiful immortality. Let me die the 
death that I may wear the crown of Embury. Let me 
live the life that I may win the spirit-watched grave 
of my departed countryman. 



Monument to Philip Embury. 



ADDRESSES BY REV. 0. A. BROWN, RESIDENT PASTOR, 
BISHOPS SIMPSON, JANES AND CAMPBELL. 

The assembling of the members of the Rational 
Local Preachers' Association and such eminent divines 
as Bishops Simpson, Janes and Campbell, Drs. TTake- 
ly, Ives and Hawky, and many others scarcely less 
worthy of mention, in a country village like Cambridge, 
would be an extraordinary event at any time. But 
the occasion which brought them here — the erection 
of a monument to perpetuate the name of Philip Em- 
bury, the founder of Methodism in America — has a 
significance that dwarfs every other event in the his- 
tory of the valley, and marks an important period in 
the history of Christianity in the New World. Cam- 
bridge is indeed historic ground. One of the great 
battles of the Revolution was fought and won on her 
soil. A few weeks since her sons and daughters gath- 
ered from far and near to celebrate the one hundredth 
anniversary of her organization as a town, and to give 
thanks for the prosperity that had ever attended her, 
due in great measure to the early seed sown by Em- 
bury and other godly men. And now come the Local 
Preachers of the nation to do honor to the memory of 
the first of their number, whose labors were finished 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 19 



here, and whose remains now repose in our cemetery. 
From the first efforts of Embury, one hundred and 
seven years ago — only five persons attending his first 
meeting in Xew York — this branch of the Christian 
church has grown, to two and a half millions of com- 
municants, and history records the fact that it is "no 
common dust that moulders in our soil.'' Though the 
name of Embury lived and was dear to every Metho- 
dist in the land, no suitable monument was ever erected 
to mark the grave of this illustrious man. This the 
Local Preachers resolved should no longer be. At 
their annual convention, two years ago, a committee, 
of which the Rev. D. T. Macfarlan was chairman, was 
appointed, which has labored unceasingly to the pres- 
ent time, and the result of their labors was witnessed 
on Monday last. In the language of the president of 
the convention, to the indefatigable exertions of Rev. 
Arthur Mooney, a member of the committee, is due to 
a considerable extent the success attending the erection 
of this monument. 

Monday, October 20th, was the day set apart for 
the unveiling of the monument. A large platform had 
been erected in the cemetery, where the ceremonies 
were expected to take place, but the rain which com- 
menced the night previous, continued to pour down 
through the day, compelling a resort to the church. 
At the hour appointed, one and a half o* clock, the 
church was packed, and the exercises were opened by 
the reading of the 15th Psalm by Rev. John Cottier, fol- 
lowed by the singing of the two hundred and seventh 



20 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



hymn, " Lord of the Harvest, Hear;" and prayer by 
Rev. N". W. Gossett of Indiana. 

A letter to the convention from the Preachers' 
meeting of New York City, was read by the Secretary 
of the meeting, and was as follows : 

To the President and Members of the Local Preachers' Association of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Cambridge, Wash- 
ington County, N. Y., October 20, 1873. 

Dear Brethren: — We have appointed and set apart this day on 
which to commemorate the centennial of the anniversary of the 
death of Rev. Philip Embury, the founder of Methodism in Amer- 
ica, by the dedication of an obelisk to his memory. 

The New York Preachers' Meeting, in full sympathy with your 
laudable undertaking, has, therefore, appointed and instructed the 
undersigned to present to you its congratulations and thanks for 
your successful performance of the duty of a pious gratitude, the 
accomplishment of which will be a cause of satisfaction to more 
than two million Methodists on this great continent, to whom the 
name of Philip Embury is precious. 

With you we rejoice and give glory to God for the sublime 
results which, under the blessings of His spirit, have followed the 
zealous labors of Embury and his associates. Results which, in 
words worthy to be inscribed in granite, " Have beautified the 
earth with salvation and increased the joys of heaven." 

When the sacred dust you have guarded so well shall awake- 
in the first resurrection, may you, and we also, be caught up vviih 
him, and with millions more, saved through the blood of the Lamb, 
to meet the Lord, and be with him forevermore. 

In behalf of the New York M. E. Preachers' Meeting. 

Levi S. Weed, 

Geo. Lansing Taylor, 

N. G. Cheney, 

New York, October 20, 1873. Committee. 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



After the reading of the foregoing, the following 
hymn, (composed for the occasion by Rev. F. Bottome, 
D. D., of New York,) was sung by the choir and con- 
gregation : 



BLESS THE NAME OF EMBURY'S GOD. 

God of our fathers, here we raise 
A monument of grateful praise, 
To bear his name who early bore 
The gospel message to our shore. 

No priestly fingers pressed his head, 
Nor written parchments bade him speed; 
But from the throne of God there came 
Into his breast a hallowed flame. 

The will of God his sole desire, 
The souls of men his only hire, 
He sought his ministry to prove 
By deeds of all-constraining love. 

And lo! to-day a countless throng 
Bear to the winds their joyful song, 
And while they march the paths he trod, 
They bless the name of Embury's God. 



REV. O. A. BROWN S ADDRESS. 

It is thought fitting that the pastor of the society 
organized by Philip Embury a hundred years ago, 
should introduce these exercises with a brief history of 
his predecessor, with a word of welcome to the thous- 
ands gathered here, and a personal tribute to his 
memory. 

The first must of necessity be brief, for, though the 
circle of its influence is forever widening, very meagre 



22 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



is the record of what must have been so grand a life. 
For the second, what can I say more to prove that you 
are welcome, than simply give utterance to the word as 
it comes from a warm and loving heart — doubly wel- 
come since you have come to join with us in honoring 
the name of him whose memory we so richly cherish. 
And for the last, I could pay no more fitting tribute 
than to stand with bowed head and tearful eyes, in 
silence, over the grave of the departed. 

An Irishman, born in Bally garen, September 21, 
1728 or 1729, was converted in 1752, and became iden- 
tified with Wesleyan Methodism as a local preacher. 
He emigrated to America in 1760, and was the first 
Methodist minister in the New World. After his arri- 
val in New York little is known of his life for the next 
six years. But at the end of these years he again be- 
comes the subject of history. In 1766 he organized a 
class and commenced preaching, in his own home at 
first, then in a hired house, and shortly afterward in 
the 6 ' rigging loft, 5 5 famous as the birthplace of Metho- 
dism in New York. God blessing his labors most 
abundantly, the rigging loft soon became too small to 
accommodate the people, and the idea of building a 
church was taken into prayerful consideration. The 
result was that in 1768, the 30th day of October, Wes- 
ley Chapel, the first Methodist Church in America, was 
consecrated to God. He who organized the society, 
continued to serve as its pastor until the following 
year, when he surrendered the charge to missionaries 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 23 



sent out by John Wesley, and came to the county in 
which we now are. 

I am not sure but that it was with a heavy heart he 
left his child to other hands. But whether so or not, 
he continued his labors as a local preacher, and organ- 
ized a second society at Ashgrove, which, after the 
lapse of a century, is still living, though under another 
name, and three hundred strong, bids its living pastor 
welcome you to-day to the ceremony of unveiling a 
monument to its dead pastor. At Ashgrove our hero — 
for hero he was — labored faithfully for four years, 
when suddenly, like the grass he was mowing when the 
accident occurred which caused his death, he was cut 
down, and his soul returned to God who gave it, and 
his dust lies in our beautiful Woodland Cemetery. 

In this brief historical sketch have I forgotten to 
name the name of the humble Irishman born at Bally - 
garen? If you would know that name read it there, 
graven with a pen of iron on that everlasting granite — 
Philip Embury. 

It may seem strange to some that so large a place 
in our memory and in our hearts, is given to one who 
occupied so small a place in history. But it is not by 
the number of pages the record of his life occupies 
that we are to judge a man. The grandest characters 
are oftentimes most easily recorded, and furnish the 
fewest materials for history. The simple, noble, godly 
life of a man honored above all humanity is written in 
one single sentence, " Enoch walked with God." Nor 
is it the how much that is written of a man, as the how 



24 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



good it is, upon which his immortality depends. Page 
after page of ponderous tomes have been filled and 
blotted by the record of a life, but the printed word 
has not been able to save from oblivion. Into the 
awful silence of forgetfulness the life with its record 
have gone. On the other hand, let it be but the his- 
tory of a good life, though never so brief, if but a deed 
or a word be recorded, that word and that deed go 
singing in the hearts of men down the ages, and the 
memory of the life lingers and lives, and can never die. 

True, Embury occupies but a small place on the 
printed page, but the world is filled with the influences 
of the work which, under God, he wrought. Outside of 
the few associated with him his name was unknown 
while he lived. But now, after the lapse of a century, 
that name goes flying on the wings of the wind ; as 
swift as light it is borne to distant cities the land over, 
and on the morrow at many a hearthstone and in many 
a counting room his work will be recalled, the memory 
of him refreshed, and his name enshrined in the hearts 
of those who love the cause of our common Lord. 

We know not when or how we are working for the 
future, for a fadeless immortality. In seeking post- 
humous fame men lose it. By standing in our place, 
and working faithfully and well, unmindful of what 
shall come after of honor to ourselves, we win it. Em- 
bury won it by standing where God placed him, and 
doing what God ordered. 

One of the saddest things in this world is for one to 
have struggled through toils and tears to gain the ap- 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



25 



plause of men, and a name that shall live after they 
are gone, and then, dying, be forgotten by even one's 
own descendants. The grandest thing is to have done 
one's duty in a lowly way, hidden from the world's eye, 
and going down into the grave still live, and after a 
century has elapsed thousands gather to pay honor to 
their memory. 

Forty-one years ago another assemblage might have 
been seen about the grave of this same man. " Not to 
bury the dead," as was said by the silver-tongued 
orator of the occasion, 4 fi not to disinter his mouldering 
remains, not to shed a tear over Embury dead, but to 
thank God that so good a man ever lived, and to rear 
a frail stone over his dust, which may tell his name and 
our reverence for his virtues for four or five generations 
to come." We are met again to unveil a more lasting 
memorial, determined that the memory of Embury 
shall not die, but that the everlasting granite shall tell 
to generations following that here lies the ashes of one 
known, loved and honored. 

We welcome you to the old home of Embury ; we 
welcome you to the bosom of the society he organized, 
now three hundred strong; we welcome you to the val- 
ley in which he lived and labored and died, and made 
sacred by containing his dust. A valley which, in its 
physical features, remains almost unchanged, so that if 
he were to rise to-day he would be at home, knowing 
in a moment which way the brook runs, singing the 
same old song, and which way the mountains tread, 
and what peaks the rising sun would first burnish with 



26 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



gold. Here lie lived fragrantly, here he died fragrantly, 
and his memory is as fragrant in this valley to-day as 
the breath of a summer morning. 

I cannot say more. The memory of Embury is very 
dear to me. I reach back and grasp my mother's hand, 
and in doing so am joined to one of Erin's daughters. 
I claim a kinship with the noblest of her sons, and feel 
the inspiration of their lives. 

Enough. I pray not for honors in life that the 
world can give ; I pray not for a grand and mournful 
pageant at my burial ; or when a hundred years have 
come and gone that thousands shall gather to unveil 
a lasting memorial over my sleeping dust. But I do 
pray, Lord Jesus, that Thou wouldst make me a worthy 
successor of pious Embury ! 

ADDRESS OF BISHOP SIMPSON. 

Brethren of the Local Preachers' Association, 
Ministers and Members of the Church of our Lord 
Jesus Christ — We are gathered here to-day to dwell, to 
some extent, on the earlier points of our history as a 
church, and the opening visions of the future. We 
are here because a monument erected is to be unveiled 
and dedicated on a beautiful eminence overlooking this 
Cambridge valley. There it stands, a shaft of granite, 
with the name of Philip Embury surmounted by the 
figure of a cross. The shaft itself is a beautiful one. 
It is of excellent workmanship. It appears as if it 
might stand for the long centuries, enduring and point- 



Embury's Parsonage, Ashgrove, X. Y. 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 27 



ing heavenward, suggestive of thought, and inspiring 
to action. 

A visit to the cemetery brings with it, to some ex- 
tent, feelings of sadness. " The city of the dead" is 
to be our abode. We may erect for ourselves houses, 
and fill them with comforts of domestic life, but we 
shall occupy them for a few years only. The grand 
resting place where all that remains of us will lie, is 
the grave. To this you and I are hastening. Every 
path in human life leads to the grave ; whether lead- 
ing through scenes of loveliness or through scenes of 
woe ; all point to the open tomb ; and every one of us 
is every moment traveling toward it. We are short 
lived, and can adopt the words of the patriarch Jacob, 
" Few and evil have been the days of our pilgrimage." 
The most of us feel that we must die just as we have 
begun to know how to live. And yet, although we 
pass away we are not mere creatures of a moment ; 
memory points to the past and promotes promise of 
the future. And not merely by personal observation 
and memory are we prompted and cheered ; there are 
living voices associated with agencies, that reach our 
ears. We hear in spirit and in story the song of the 
angels as they shout for joy at the beginning of the 
years, in the morning of creation, and gave i% Glory to 
God in the highest," at the ushering in of the better dis- 
pensation, and realize the fresh bursts of joy at the new 
movements of truth and righteousness. And we hear, 
in history, the voices of the heroes of the past. Xot 
coming up as in the case of the Witch of Endor, with 



28 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



mutterings and mumblings, but they come in right re- 
cord, rousing us to action, and beckoning us on. We 
are connected with the past, with our part to perform 
in the present. 

We come not as mourners, we shed no tears in the 
cemetery in view of the monument. We rejoice that 
Embury lived; we rejoice more that he yet lives 
through Jesus his life. 

There is not a hand in this assembly that ever 
grasped his hand ; or an eye that ever gazed ujDon his 
living form. And we know nothing by report of his 
stature or temperament, or of a single sermon preached 
by him. The only sentence that I know of that he 
spoke is this, " The best dedication of a church is the 
preaching of a good sermon in its pulpit. ' 5 

Why has gathered this assembly? Not because we 
celebrate a man that by wealth had gained eminence 
among men. There are some such that can derange 
the whole monetary matters of the country. Embury 
was not such a man, but loving the church of his 
choice and the souls of men, he labored for its good 
and their good. He was not even a subscriber to the 
first church ; but he — poor and unable to give money — 
labored with his hands ; he built the pulpit. He did 
what he could, and so gave as much as any one — ac- 
cording to the decision of the Master. 

We do not gather here because he was a man of 
extensive influence ; he was of humble origin ; he lived 
in an obscure portion of the city. And after he left the 
city he came to a humble home in this vicinity. He 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



29 



was a preacher, but not of distinguished excellence. 
As a theologian we have no doubt he was sound, but 
know not that he was strong. As an orator we have 
no record of him of any great account. But he 
abounded in sympathy and with tears begged his hear- 
ers to come to Christ. The record is " He wept fre- 
quently.' 5 Such binds men to us. 

We are here to-day because the life of Embury is 
closely, indissolubly connected with the commence- 
ment and growth of the Methodist church in the 
United States. He was its first local minister; the 
pastor of the first society ; a member of the first class. 
He preached — so far as we know — the first sermon. 
He organized the first society in this country. 

The century has passed, and from the little society 
then established there has spread a vast movement. 
From six in the start there are now in the several 
branches of the Methodism, two millions and a half of 
communicants. Instead of a ministry of only one local, 
we have now nearly ten thousand traveling preachers, 
and nearly eleven thousand local preachers. From the 
one — John Street church — have come churches to the 
value of seventy millions of dollars. Instead of that 
little company without learning, or social influence, we 
have now seminaries, colleges, universities and theolo- 
gical schools, well located, in which multiplied thous- 
ands are receiving culture. Now we have wealth. As 
an instance of liberality, one person gave nearly two 
millions about a year ago near Boston, for the educa- 
tional interests of the church. 



30 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



We are here to- day as a family gathering. We 
meet members of the several branches of the family of 
God, as well as the several branches of Methodism. 
Bless God for the whole family. [Applause.] I love 
Methodism only so far as I believe it to be, first, alle- 
giance to Christ, and secondly, true to the church. 

And now this wonderful growth has challenged the 
attention of the world. At first we had no press ; now 
we meet and reporters from the metropolitan press 
come to note and record our doings. And the light- 
ning carries intelligence to all parts of our land. To- 
morrow your meeting here to-day will be recorded in 
San Francisco — possibly across the ocean. 

We ought to thank God that He has wrought this 
wonderful work; and, doubtless, we feel like singing 
' ' Praise God from whom all blessings flow. ' ' But, with 
all our joy, we should rejoice with trembling. Think 
of our responsibilities in view of our great numbers and 
means. Considering the number of our children and 
hearers, and communicants, all under our immediate 
influence, we reach the number of seven and a half mil- 
lions, at least. The population of the country is thirty- 
eight millions. We have, therefore, one fifth of that 
population looking up to us for religious instruction 
and moral influence. 

And when I look over the land and see the Sabbath 
desecration, and hear of fraud and defalcations in finan- 
cial circles, and see how lightly the marriage tie is re- 
garded, and remember that we are responsible for one- 
fifth — if not one-fourth — of the influence upon the peo- 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 31 



pie, my heart almost sinks within me, and I ask : Are 
we doing all that we can? O ! there is a great need of 
a bold pulpit, in the spirit of our Master, to blow the 
trumpet, and show the people their sins. Too few of 
us feel our responsibility as we should. While, there- 
fore, we recount with gratitude what God has done for 
us, let us feel what is required of us. 

Again, when I consider what one century has done 
for us, I ask, " Shall the next century do as much for 
us?" If we faithfully travel the paths of the itineracy ; 
if we do our duty, the ark of God will go forward. 
But if we fail to exalt Christ, as our fathers exalted 
him, and neglect to follow him, the ark of God will not 
move forward, and God will write us up as unworthy of 
our sires. May He enable us to be faithful. [Many 
hearty Aniens.] 

But we are here, not only to think of the origin and 
growth of Methodism, but also to note the peculiar 
agencies connected therewith, by which our success has 
been achieved. Much has been wrought through the 
local ministry, such ministry being peculiar to us as a 
church. Here we differ from other denominations. 
We have a ministry — the local — supporting themselves, 
ready to enter any opening to preach the name of 
Christ. In the early history of our church, there was 
much complaint against us for authorizing laymen to 
preach. But to-day there is no ground for fears on 
this score. During the recent Evangelical Alliance, 
one of the ablest papers read was in favor of lay 
preaching. The world is catching up with us in the 



32 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



estimation and use of lay agency — local preaching. 
Such is needed for three reasons : First, the church 
has not a sufficient number of ministers who can spend 
all their time in the work of the ministry. Second, 
the church is not prepared to furnish sufficient means 
for the support of a sufficient number of men so en- 
gaged. Third, men who are not fully professional in the 
ministry, can do a work that professional ministers 
cannot do. There are objections to more professional 
ministers, and their work is looked upon as merely 
professional. But when mechanics and others work- 
ing for their living, preach the truth and invite men to 
Jesus, the world sees that these men have a motive 
that is free from selfishness. 

Again, there is another power in a local ministry 
generally. The schools teach a classic style, and 
familiarity with ancient modes of thought and expres- 
sion. The scholar is apt to live in the region of the 
past, of the old characters. But the great mass of the 
people know not of these things. And the minister 
who quotes from them talks mere Greek to those who 
understand it not. Such is the natural, not inevitable, 
tendency. But the local preacher talks to the people 
of which he is part. He draws his illustration from 
every-day life, knowing the sympathies and feelings of 
his fellow men, and thus he sways them. There is no 
need of the scholar forgetting these things — Wesley did 
not; but such is the natural tendency. May we all 
follow Wesley as he followed the Master — mingle with 
the masses and win them to Jesus. Jesus laid aside 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



33 



His crown and laid His arms under the lowest to raise 
them to life. May we thus minister. This is our true 
mission . [Applause . ] 

But we need the local ministry to join the masses 
to us. To-day, in this country, it is said that Christi- 
anity is not reaching the masses it ought to. But 
much of the writing on this subject is from a short- 
sighted view. Yet the lanes and alleys of cities are 
not examined as closely as they should be, and cellars 
and garrets need more visitation according to Christ's 
commission : " Go preach the Gospel to every crea- 
ture." 

Again, we do not meet and receive foreigners as we 
should, in the spirit of Christians seeking to do them 
good. We sometimes say, " O, they are only Catholics, 
besotted, prejudiced," and so pass them by. But they 
are men, our fellow men [applause], capable of polish 
and Christianity. From the foreign element have 
come some of our brightest men. My convictions are 
very deep on this subject. I fear that God has a re- 
cord against us because we have not received them as 
we should. Remember how we received the African 
to our shores — in chains — and we have paid for it in 
blood. And we are now acting in an unchristian man- 
ner to the poor Chinese. 

The local preachers are needed to-day as much as 
they ever were. Some think that the necessity has 
passed away, but such is a mistake. TTe need such 
local preachers as Embury was, not merely licensed, 
but working. Too many rest in the mere license with- 



34 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



out the work. May such, grow less, and the good 
grow greater. [Amen, amen.] 

Embury commenced preaching on his arrival in 
this region, and preached sixty miles north of this, and 
organized a society. And whenever he could find men 
to hear the unsearchable riches of Christ, he was 
ready to preach. Oh ! let us make a covenant to be 
such ministers. [Many aniens.] 

I notice that Methodism in its spirit has been a 
protest against formalism and ritualism. I have no 
faith in any society that merely occupies a negative 
position. We need to be positive. It is only on the 
broad basis of sympathy that we are a living protest 
against ritualism. So was Luther and other great re- 
formers. Methodism in the start invited every man, 
woman and child to come on the platform and work 
for the good of their fellows. There is a curious fact 
in relation to ritualism. Mr. Wesley sent us a form 
with prayer book somewhat modified from that of the 
established English church. And Wesley sent over 
ministers in the clerical garment, and Asbury and Coke 
wore such costume in the conference and pulpit, and 
our people received the same and used them for a time. 
Yet without any resolution passed against them they— 
forms and fashions — passed away, because the preach- 
ers found many people that had no prayer books, and 
saw the need of getting along without such ; and they 
had no room for that which was useless in their saddle 
bags. They went to convert the world, and had to 
drop every weight and run the race set before them. 



The First Methodist Church in America, John Street, New York 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



35 



Thus the forms failed, not from opposition, but from 
providential promptings to a more operative path. 

At the tune that the first church was built in John 
Street, New York, there was a law that no church 
should be built but under certain restrictions which 
would have been absolute hindrances, to evade which 
it was necessary to build a fireplace, so as to have the 
building resemble a dwelling. The first Methodist 
church was a house with a fireplace in it. [Applause.] 
A place where a fire might be built, and where a fire 
was built. [Hearty shouts and aniens.] And this fire 
has been burning ever since, and the angels have fed 
the flame and infused energy. May every church have 
such a fire. [Amen, amen.] 

And then again, that the power of God may have 
full display, there must be some visible mark which 
shall indicate the Divine Presence. A church can only 
grow as the people recognize such presence — that God 
is there. That recognition we must have to have 
power over humanity. In the Catholic church there 
is that which deeply affects the hearts of the people. 
In the offering of the mass the devout Catholic does 
believe that when the mass is lifted up the elements 
are changed into the body and blood of Christ, and 
that He is really there. He recognizes the presence of 
God. And if I so believed, I, too, would bow. The 
human heart wants to find God. And where He is 
there will I go. I care not for mere forms. There are 
devout Christians among Catholics, and with this idea 



36 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



they cling to their church. They believe it to be the 
audience chamber of Jehovah. 

Now, what is there in Protestant churches that will 
equal this? In the High church they believe in the 
apostolic succession and bestowment of divine unction 
in ordination, with divine power passing to the or- 
dained. In the Baptist church there is a strange fancy 
that somehow there is a power gathering around the 
sacrament of baptism. In Methodism there is no 
elevation of the host, nor apostolic succession, nor 
peculiar form of baptism, we leaving the candidates to 
choose for themselves. But it has the warmth of 
earnest piety that calls the sinner to the altar, and as 
he bows his soul is freed from sin. He rises shouting 
that God has pardoned his sins. For this others come 
and seek to find God and gain His smile. Early Meth- 
odism was remarkable for such meetings. Such is far 
better than fine churches where there are not conver- 
sions ; the people will not go there. When our fathers 
preached, often multitudes bowed as grain before the 
breeze; divine presence was there. Just as long as 
God shall pour out His spirit upon our altars in the 
conversion of souls, so long will we prosper and have 
power with the people. Let men call us enthusiasts if 
they will, but the only way to promote the growth of 
the church, is to have this fire on the altar. Methodism 
has worked in this way from Embury down to our day. 
There is another point in Embury's life — God has con- 
nected us with the races of mankind. Embury's an- 
cestors were from the Rhine, from whence they were 



AMERICAN METHODISM, 



37 



driven by persecution to Ireland, where their posterity 
sank into sin. Mr. Wesley went and preached in their 
neighborhood and some of them were converted. 
Visiting there, I saw some of the relatives of Barbara 
Heck, and the room where Wesley preached. In 1752 
Embury was converted. He was an Irishman, and a 
German Irishman. He came to this country and 
preached to Irishmen and to Germans, and Methodism 
has greatly spread among them. We have sent help 
to the college in Belfast, Ireland, and Germany has not 
been forgotten; our missionaries are over the Rhine. 
J ust before the breaking out of the war, I held a Con- 
ference just where the ancestors of Embury were driven 
from by persecution. The reaction is wonderful, God 
is acting. Germany enlarged her borders, and light is 
spreading, and the ' ' Man of Sin 5 ' is seeing his crown 
about slipping from his head. 

In the same spirit that Embury preached, we are 
going to preach in all parts of the world, hoping for its 
full conversion. I am glad to know of your fixed pur- 
pose to work for Christ. May not the spirit of Em- 
bury, of Asbury, of Wesley and others, be ready to 
join our ascription of praise. They are as clouds of 
witnesses of our work ; in their presence let us address 
ourselves fully to it. 

In ancient times the young men vowed in the pres- 
ence of the images of the good, to imitate them. Let 
us similarly vow to greater earnestness in our race for 
usefulness and heaven. May we dedicate ourselves 
completely in the presence and memory of the good 



38 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



martyrs, apostles, prophets and in the light of our 
Sovereign Saviour. Let us covenant to be better men 
and better ministers, and plead for Divine power. 
And as the mantle of Elijah fell as he ascended in the 
chariot of fire, so may the Holy Spirit fall on us and 
fit us for our work. 

At the close of the Bishop's masterly and thrilling 
effort, which was received with great applause, the as- 
semblage rose and sang " All Hail the Power of Jesus' 
Name," after which Bishop Janes spoke briefly and 
tersely. 

BISHOP JANES' ADDRESS. 

Mr. President. Words to be fitly spoken must be 
spoken at the right time. Many words from me now 
would be out of time. Our discipline speaks against 
works of supererogation; an additional speech of any 
length would be such a work. 

The monument that we expect soon to unveil, is 
more in commemoration of an event, than for the pur- 
pose of perpetuating the name or fame of a man. It is 
true that the name is carved on that granite ; a name 
that is precious to us all; a name that we love to 
honor; that coming generations will revere; a name 
that is now honored in heaven, I believe. There has 
not been too much said to-day in exaltation of that 
name. And yet the event which is associated with the 
man is of far greater significance. As we look upon 
the monument to-day, and as others shall look upon it 
in the time to come, the event will not be considered sec- 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



55 



is not all : he was the earliest who ever circulated 
Methodist literature, for he sold reprinted sermons — 
of Mr. Wesley's no doubt, and paid the money for 
them, one pound and four shillings, March. 1770. 
There are single entries in the old book. Robert Wil- 
liams had arrived from Ireland, and we read, " October 
17, 1767. To cash paid Mr. NewtoD for three pair of 
stockings for Mr. "Williams and Mr. Embury. £'1.7s, 9d. ?? 
Under the same date, 4 'To cash paid Mr. Embury to 
buy clothes, £10." The last time his name is men- 
tioned is April 10, 1770. ' ' To cash paid Philip Em- 
bury to buy a concordance. £2, 5s. 4 * This all shows 
the esteem in which this man of God was held. The 
concordance may have been a present they wished to 
make him just before he left, in remembrance of his 
valuable services, for he had preached to them gratui- 
tously. 

We have not time to go into the rigging loft where 
he preached after he left his house. Here they were 
surprised and somewhat alarmed at the appearance of 
a British officer, but they were overjoyed to see him 
kneel down and exhibit a devotional spirit. It proved 
to be Captain Thomas Webb of the British army, one 
of the noblest of noble men the great God ever made. 
He had been converted in England under John Wesley. 
He was a local preacher, a man of enterprise, a man of 
means, a splendid orator, a kind of Demosthenes. In 
him Embury found a helpmate indeed. I doubt 
whether the church would have been built at that time 
had it not been for Captain Thomas Webb. Embury 



56 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



was timid, Webb was courageous. Webb's name first 
appears on the subscription list for thirty pounds. 
After wonderful effort the church edifice was erected, 
Embury doing most of the carpenter's work, and build- 
ing the pulpit with his own hands. Mr. Embury 
preached the dedication sermon, October 30, 1768. 
Thus he had the immortal honor of dedicating the first 
Methodist temple in the New World. It was called 
" Wesley Chapel," the first temple named in honor of 
the founder of Methodism. 

At what time did Philip Embury remove to Camden 
Valley? It must have been in the early part of 1770. 
Robert Williams having arrived, and Wesley's regular 
missionaries, Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor. 
he saw no necessity for his remaining there to preach, 
so he removed to Camden Valley, which was then one 
vast wilderness. He went with Abram Bininger, who 
was a Moravian minister, and several of his own coun- 
trymen. Mr. Embury had several brothers. John 
died in Xew York in 1764 ; Peter in 1765. His brother 
David accompanied him to Camden Valley. In April, 
Philip Embury was in New York, for on the tenth of 
April, 1770, they gave him money to buy a concordance, 
which, no doubt, was a farewell present, and he left 
soon after, for in August of that year his brother David 
went from Camden Valley to Xew York City to trans- 
act some business connected with the preaching house. 
I have no doubt that Philip was unable to go, and he 
sent his brother David. Therefore I find in the old 
book the following receipt : 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 57 



" Received, New York, 13th of August, 1770, of Mr. William 
Lupton, five pounds, in full, being allowed me for loss of time and 
traveling expenses in coming from Camden, in the County of Al- 
bany, to New York, in order to execute an instrument relative to 
the Methodist preaching house. Davjd Embury." 

It shows that Philip Embury was then in Camden. 
It shows his importance to the infant church. To 
David he no doubt gave the power of attorney to act 
in his name. Then as he came to Camden Valley in 
the spring of 1770, and died August, 1773, he spent 
only three years in Camden Valley and Ashgrove, and 
during that time he was clearing his land and building 
his house, and yet he found no time to be idle. He 
accomplished much during the three years. He 
preached in America only three years. As a preacher 
he is said to have been one of moderate talents. He 
was more of a son of consolation than of thunder. 
AVebb was a son of thunder. Embury was a weeping 
prophet. His sermons were steeped in tears. His 
nephew John said his uncle Philip was a powerful 
preacher. He not only preached in Camden Valley 
but also in Ashgrove. This was settled mostly by 
noble hearted Irishmen from his native land. Thomas 
Ashton was the patriarch. Ashgrove was so called in 
honor of him. He paid the passage of Robert VTil- 
liams to America. He was the preachers 5 friend. A 
volume might be written concerning him. He had a 
large heart and a noble soul. Philip Embury formed 
a society at Ashgrove in 1770, which was the first 
formed north of New York, and of course the first with- 
in the limits of the Troy Conference. They were fif- 



58 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



teen years without a preacher. That vine continued 
to flourish so they had a preacher in 1788 called to Cam- 
bridge circuit. That year they built a church at Ash- 
grove, and that became a great Methodist centre. 
Honorable mention might be made not only of Thomas 
Ashton but John Baker, the Armitages, Fishers and 
others. 

Mr. Embury died at the early age of forty -three or 
forty-five. Time had not whitened his locks or wrin- 
kled his cheeks, or palsied his hand, or bent his frame, 
or chilled his heart. He was in the prime of manhood, 
in the meridian of life. His eye was not dim, nor his 
natural force abated. He fell suddenly, but he fell at 
his post — died with his armor on ; fell on the field of 
battle, sword in hand, fresh with recent fight. Bishop 
Asbury makes honorable mention of Philip Embury. 
He informs us that "he was a magistrate, that he was 
greatly loved and deeply lamented." 

Twice Bishop Asbury held a conference at Ash- 
grove. First in 1803, the second in 1805. The first at 
John Baker's. He spoke of the place as " prettily en- 
vironed with hills, a carpet of green spread beneath, 
and fields that promise abundant harvest." He ad- 
mired this section of the country, and delighted to visit 
it. I have in my possession a letter that Thomas Ash- 
ton wrote, inviting the New York Conference to hold 
its session here in 1801. The conference held its ses- 
sion in 1803, but Ashton was in his grave. Bishop 
Asbury, the last year of his life, a few (nine) months 
before his death, visited Ashgrove for the last time. 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 59 



It was on Saturday, the 9th of June, 1815, he says, at 
Cambridge. The next day he preached at Ashgrove. 
I have in my possession his last mite subscription to 
aid poor preachers, he took around this continent. 
On it are the names of fourteen hundred, and among 
others the names of a number of the members at Ash- 
grove, with the amount they gave. Some of their 
descendants may be here, and I will name them : John 
Baker, William Nicholson, Chauncey Whitney, Joseph 
Armitage, William Norton, J ohn Fisher, George Fisher, 
Warren Norton, John Armitage, Catherine MeKain, 
Daniel Carpenter. 

Philip Embury died suddenly, having injured him- 
self while mowing. His old friend, Rev. Abram Binin- 
ger, was with him in life's last lingering hours, smooth- 
ing his pillow of agony, wetting his parched lips, and 
he prayed with him, and commended him to Him who 
is " the Resurrection and the Life." He was with him 
when he crossed the narrow stream ; he closed his 
eyes ; he put the muffler around his cheeks, and put on 
him his last dress. Then he preached his funeral ser- 
mon, and laid him quietly to rest in his own graveyard. 
Till I visited it I thought it was a dreary place, but I 
found it was most beautiful. The Camden Valley in 
which he was laid is most enchanting. Here his dust 
slept till May, 1832, without a monument or tombstone 
to tell where the apostle of Methodism was sleeping. 
There was a tall tree that grew over his grave, which 
was the only monument, as if to reprove the negligence 
of others. Years passed away, and the tree bowed 



60 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



under the hand of time, and that is the last piece of 
the stump. It was presented to me by General A. M. 
Bininger in 1856. Embury slept in that grave for fifty- 
nine years. Rev. John ISTewal Maffit, a great Irish 
pulpit orator preaching in Troy, heard that Philip Em- 
bury was sleeping without a monument. He loved 
him, for he was an Irishman; he loved him for his 
work's sake, and he, with a number of others, resolved 
he should have a monument. "When the time came 
for the removal of the remains and the erection of the 
monument, General Bininger accompanied Mr. Mafflt. 
He put up at the old Bininger house, where Abram 
Bininger, the friend of Embury, lived and died. It 
was near the graveyard where Embury was buried. In 
the night the family heard Mr. Maffit go out. He re- 
mained a long time and they became alarmed. They 
went out in search of him, and they found him pros- 
trate on the grave of Embury, weeping and praying. 
The scene was wonderfully affecting. There under the 
arch of the heavens, with the stars twinkling over his 
head, and the night winds blowing upon him, and the 
night dews falling on the grave of one whose face he 
never saw, lay the prostrate weeping minister. The 
next day there was quite a large gathering, and they 
dug up his remains. The dust had returned to dust, 
all but the bones and skull. Mr. Maffit handled the 
bones and the skull. He said the skull was very large, 
indicating a large brain. Then the remains were put 
into a coffin, and that was put into a hearse, and the 
large procession started for the burying ground at 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



61 



Ashgrove. Mr. Maffit lieaded the procession, riding in 
the carriage of Gen. A. M. Bininger, who rode with 
him, and they started for Ashgrove. There was an 
immense throng, the people having come from many 
miles around. Standing by the new made grave at 
Ashgrove, and by the coffin that contained Embury's 
remains, Mr. Maffit delivered one of the most elo- 
quent orations that ever fell from the lips of man. 
It was enough to have immortalized any man. Mr. 
Maffit far outdid himself. It was his masterpiece. He 
gives but a few historical facts, nothing of his biography, 
of his history in Ireland or America — only he was from 
Ireland and was the founder of American Methodism. 
I wish I had time to quote it all. But time will allow 
me to quote only the first sentence, one which I have 
never seen equalled for beauty : 6 ' The genius of His- 
tory stands over the broken ruins of Time, and restores 
the faded images of the past, as a painter would re- 
touch the work of some ancient master. Time hath a 
hasty step, and leaves his deepest track in the place 
of graves." 

They buried Embury in Ashgrove because it was 
Methodist classic ground. Several preachers were 
buried there. Rev. David Noble, a local preacher from 
Ireland, and Rev. David Brown from Ireland, a travel- 
ing preacher. Then there was his friend and brother, 
Thomas Ashton, wdio was one of the original members 
and one of the main pillars, and he had given the 
ground for a Methodist cemetery. And there were 
buried the original members of the society Mr. Embury 



62 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



formed ; and there was Jolm Baker, and the Armitages, 
and the Fishers, and others who were from his native 
land. After they had placed his remains in his new 
made grave, they placed over it a monument with a 
beautiful inscription written by Mr. Maffit : 

" PHILIP EMBURY. 
The earliest American minister, of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, here found his last resting place." 

It is forty-one years since this eloquent oration was 
delivered by the great Irish pulpit orator. John Xew- 
al Maffit has slept for twenty-three years. Humani- 
ty weeps, religion mourns, eloquence sighs over the 
lonely, neglected, tombless grave of John Xewal 
Maffit. There is not a slab — no stone, no monument, 
to tell where the great orator is laid. 

In 1859 I was invited, by Gen. A. M. Bininger, 
grandson of the old Moravian minister, who preached 
the funeral sermon of Philip Embury, to visit Cam- 
bridge, Ashgrove and Camden Valley. He took me in 
his own carriage, and we went to Camden Valley, and 
visited the graveyard where Philip Embury was first 
buried — a place of rare beauty. Then we went and 
found the old house in which Philip Embury died. I 
had peculiar feelings when in it. I thought, this is the 
place where the founder of American Methodism ex- 
changed mortality for immortality, From this place 
he went to the house not made by hands, eternal in 
the heavens. Here Philip Embury conquered death. 
Here he laid his body down in sure and certain hope 
of a glorious resurrection. I begged a rafter, from 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 63 



which some rules were made. We then went to Ash- 
grove, where Philip Embury's dust was then sleeping. 
I there wandered among the tombs. Never shall I 
forget that visit, so full of interest. 

Embury had slept in the grave in Camden Valley, 
where he was first buried, fifty-nine years. Then he 
was in the grave at Ashgrove thirty-four years, and in 
1866 — just one hundred years from the time he com- 
menced his mighty work in America — his remains were 
borne here where he will sleep, undisturbed, till the 
Lord himself shall descend with a shout — the voice 
of the archangel. Embury slept at Ashgrove from 
May 1832 till April 1866, and as this splendid cemetery 
had been laid out, and a plot of rare beauty presented 
in which to bury the remains of Embury, and as this 
was more central than Ashgrove, they removed his 
bones to this place, where they were buried. It was 
when the Troy Conference was in session at this place, 
and eloquent addresses were made by Eev. Bishop 
Janes and Eev. S. D. Brown. The removal was done 
by a committee of the Troy Conference, the conference 
attending. 

Philip Embury's old family Bible, from which he 
took his text when he preached the dedication of the 
John Street church — the first Methodist church edifice 
in America — his son Samuel gave to Eev. Peter Eeed. 
He prized it more highly than gold. It is a splendid 
relic and ought to be preserved. Embury handled it, 
Embury read it, Embury wept over it, Embury preached 
from it. Blessed old book ! Precious relic of by-gone 



64 AMERICAN METHODISM:. 



days ! It is singular that recently a portrait of Philip 
Embury and his wife has been discovered, and it has 
been photographed and now you can see the image of 
Philip the carpenter, Philip the pioneer, Philip the 
founder, Philip the magistrate, Philip the evangelist; 
also the image of his excellent wife Mary, who early 
chose the good part that was not taken away from her. 

We see from the history of Philip Embury, that 
American Methodism was peculiarly a child of Provi- 
dence. As sure as God directed the pilgrim fathers to 
America to lay the foundation of a republic, so sure he 
prompted Embury and Webb and Strawbridge to come 
to this country. Methodism was introduced into 
America by men who came to this country without any 
such design. It was foreign to all their intentions. 
Unconsciously they were laying the foundations of a 
church as large as an empire, and one that would span 
a continent. How Embury and his contemporaries, if 
they should rise from the dead, would be astonished at 
the result of their labors ! The first message Professor 
Morse sent over the telegraph wires was 6 6 What has 
God wrought? 55 So we may say in looking at the result 
of their labors, ' ' What has God wrought ? ' ' And look- 
ing at the magnificent results we cannot but exclaim, 
" This is the finger of God." We should cherish the 
memory of our fathers. They have labored, we enter 
into their labors. How deeply we are indebted to Em- 
bury and his noble compeers. What an invaluable 
legacy they have left us. Let us erect for them monu- 
ments to perpetuate their memory; let them have 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



05 



monuments in our hearts, let their names and deeds be 
enshrined in our very hearts' core. Let us record 
their virtues, let us speak their praises in the assembly 
of saints; let us tell our children, and our children's 
children tell it to the generation following : 

" O'er the bones of the bold 

Be the story long told; 
And on the churches' golden tablets 

Their triumphs enrolled." 

Let the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story. 
Philip Embury sleeps in an honored grave, and has a 
monument worthy of him. Soft be the turf that covers 
him, green the grass that grows over him, and quiet his 
slumbers ! Ah ! he will not always slumber there ! 
Legions of angels cannot confine him there. The 
morning is coming that knows no evening, £ £ when this 
mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruptible 
shall put on incorruption, 5 5 when Embury shall start at 
the sound of the trump and rise to life immortal. 

We see how deeply we are indebted to the founders 
of Methodism. To the woman who stirred up Philip 
Embury and ' fi introduced a system that has beautified 
the earth with salvation, and increased the joys of 
heaven. ' ' Blessed woman ! Wherever the history of 
the church is read, this that thou hast done shall be 
spoken as a memorial of thee. Many daughters have 
done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Let the 
women of the present day learn a lesson and follow her 
example. I wish the women understood their power 



66 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



and influence, and they would soon see that the hand 
that rocks the cradle, rocks the world. 

We see we owe Ireland a great debt. We see how 
deeply we are indebted to local preachers — Embury 
was a local preacher — so was Webb, so was Straw- 
bridge. All honor to those men who laid the founda- 
tion of American Methodism ! May you and the local 
preachers connected with the National Association, be 
baptized with the spirit of Embury and catch his fall- 
ing mantle! Look up and exclaim, u My father! my 
father ! the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof ! ' ' 

I think it well that you unveil this monument and 
inaugurate it in October, in autumn, when the sun is 
shining in autumnal beauty; for it was in October 
John and Charles Wesley first sailed for America, in 
1735. It was in October, 1766, Philip Embury preached 
the first Methodist sermon in America, in his own hired 
house. It was October 30th, 1768, Philip Embury 
preached the dedication sermon of the first Methodist 
chapel in the JSTew World. It was October 24, 1769, 
Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor — Wesley's 
first missionaries— landed. It was in October, 1771, 
that Francis Wright and Richard Asbury landed. In 
October, 1866, that the great Centennial Celebration 
was held throughout our wide-spread connection, and 
as great Methodist events have transpired in America 
in October, and some of the grandest events of Em- 
bury's Methodistic life transpired in October, events in 
which the church, the nation, and the world have a 
deep and abiding interest, it seems very fit, proper and 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



67 



opportune, that Embury's monument should be com- 
pleted and unveiled in October. October is a Metho- 
dist classic month ! 

This is an age of monuments. One has lately been 
erected in Printing House Square, New York, to Ben- 
jamin Franklin, who tamed the lightning. Another 
monument has been erected in Central Park, to Profes- 
sor Morse, who taught the English language. Another 
to Washington Irving, the distinguished author, and 
to many others. If we erect them to authors, to in- 
ventors, to discoverers, how much more to one who 
accomplished what Embury did. What is the found- 
ing of an Empire compared with laying the foundation 
of a church, one wing of which rises in the east, an- 
other in the west, another in the north, another in the 
south — an ocean bound church, one that has within 
its hallowed precincts millions of devout worshipers. 

AJ1 nations have held in honor the names and deeds 
of their illustrious dead. So it has been with churches. 
Philip Embury has a name immortal. He is an ever- 
green. His name is crowned with a garland of imper- 
ishable verdure. There is a beauty, a freshness, a 
charm about it that age and time cannot annihilate. 
His name is known over all the world, and it will be 
transmitted from one generation to another, till the 
last syllable of recorded time; till earth is wrapped in 
her red winding sheet, till the funeral of the world, and 
the birthday of the new heavens, and the new earth. 
Philip Embury's name is as familiar as a household 
word, it is embalmed in our affections, in the heart of 



68 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



the church; and embalmed in lier history. Philip 
Embury laid the foundations of Methodism in America. 
He was its pioneer. He was the great apostle of 
American Methodism. To him belongs this immortal 
honor. On the Methodistic pillar of fame is a long 
list of brilliant names, but at the head of the column, 
over all, written in capital letters, is the name of Philip 
Embury. Philip Embury preached the first Methodist 
sermon, formed the first class, was the first class-leader, 
was the first treasurer and trustee, built the first church 
edifice, dedicated the first Methodist chapel. Philip 
Embury was the first Methodist minister in America 
that died ; the first that went from the New World to 
heaven ; the first that went to join the Wesleys, and 
to join in singing the new song before the throne. But 
oh, how many have followed him to the grave, and to 
heaven — thousands upon thousands who by death 
have escaped from death and life eternal gained. 

It is a hundred years since Embury died and was 
buried. How the world has moved forward during the 
century. The world has made more advancement dur- 
ing this time than in a thousand years before. A 
hundred years have made great changes here, for 
changes come with every circling year. A hundred 
years to come where will we be? These honored 
Bishops, and local preachers, and traveling preachers, 
and members, we will be in our graves ; and our spirits 
will be with the just made perfect. A hundred years 
to come and we shall be in the society of the blest, 
with Embury, and Webb, and Strawbridge — we shall 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



69 



be with Wesley, Coke, Asbury, Whatcoat, McKentree, 
and choice spirits of all ages! A hundred years to 
come and we shall be where we can die no more — 
where there is an utter impossibility of death — where 
we are under a divine constraint to live forever, im- 
mortal as Gabriel, immortal as the King, eternal, im- 
mortal and invisible; equal to the angels of God in 
dignity, purity, felicity and in immortality. A hun- 
dred years to come and we shall be where immortality 
oversweeps all time, all tears, all pain, all death ; and 
like the eternal anthem of the deep, thunders into his 
ear this truth, ' ' Thou livest forever. 5 ' A hundred years 
to come and we shall be where we shall breathe for- 
ever, live forever, shine forever. We shall be where 
every eye sparkles with delight, every countenance 
beams with the smile of complacency, every tongue 
drops manna, every pulse beats high with immortality, 
and every frame is made to sustain, without weariness, 
an eternal weight of glory. 

Look at yonder sun, shining in meridian splendor, 
that is emblematical of your future glory. 44 Then shall 
the righteous shine as the sun in the kingdom of 
their Fathers." Go out to-night and lookup at the 
magnificent heavens that look like a sea of glory, look 
at the firmament in its beauty and brightness ; then 
look at the stars that twinkle, adding to the beauty and 
variety of the heavens. 

" And whoever looked upon them shining, 
Nor turned to earth without repining; 

Nor wished for wings to soar away, 
To mingle in their endless day." 



70 AMERICAN METHODISM. 



These are emblems of our future splendor, ' 4 For 
they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the 
firmament, and they that have turned many to right- 
eousness as the stars in brilliancy, that is cloudless and 
eternal. 9 5 



1905! 



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